August 2018 LightREADING Newsletter Copy

Download: August 2018 LR Web (PDF)


Cities save big by converting to LED light fixtures

Many members have taken advantage of the Flathead Electric Co-op’s Commercial & Industrial Lighting Programs over the years, including recently the cities of Kalispell, Whitefish and Libby, who all converted antiquated light fixtures to efficient Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The switch will yield major savings in energy costs (see right), and through efficiency programs, a large portion of the installation costs will be paid via incentive rebates. (Rebates from FEC to Kalispell, Whitefish and Libby are estimated at 50-70% of their installation costs.)

FEC’s lighting programs, which are backed by our wholesale power provider the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), offer opportunities and financial incentives for members to improve their energy efficiency, experience cost savings, and improve their lighting. Energy saved by more efficient lighting is energy the Co-op doesn’t have to purchase and energy the BPA doesn’t have to generate, so the benefits of the programs are far reaching. Projects have included a wide array of lighting retrofits at stores, gas stations, schools, libraries, healthcare facilities, hotels, restaurants, and the list goes on. FEC has also replaced all of the streetlight fixtures (more than 4,000 of them) throughout our service territory, with expected annual cost savings of nearly $75,000.

For more information visit Commercial Efficiency Projects.


2019 Member Photo Calendar – Call for Submissions

MegaphoneWe are accepting photo submissions for our 2019 Member Photo Calendar. Photos submitted should depict our unique lifestyle and special corner of Northwest Montana. To enter, you must be a member of the Co-op and an amateur photographer. Photos must be submitted by August 31.

Submit your photo


Now accepting Student Teacher Scholarship applications

Flathead Electric is accepting applications for its $500 fall student teaching scholarship for students completing their education degree while student-teaching.

For information, visit Scholarships.



Be part of making Montana history

Pulse Project

With a mission to support our community, Flathead Electric Cooperative is hosting the Pulse Project. As part of this project, we will be hosting Montana’s largest Red Cross Blood Drive on September 13 and 14. This is a lofty goal, and we’ll need your help to accomplish it. Blood donor signups are open now, and appointments are limited. Sign up online or by calling 406-751-1820.

All first-time blood donors will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. All donors will receive breakfast or lunch from Chicas Blancas food truck and Cold Stone Creamery ice cream the day of the event.

Sign Up to Donate Blood


Win a trip to learn about Montana’s electric co-ops

One FEC member and their guest will win an all-expense paid trip to the Today’s Member Program, hosted by the Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association Oct. 2 – 3 in Great Falls. The program will feature presentations about the history and future of electric cooperatives, along with some fun and fellowship with other co-op members from around Montana.

Call 406-751-4429 by August 31 to enter the drawing.


Electric Vehicle Day – Save Your Gas for the Grill

In recognition of National Drive Electric Week, stop by Flathead Electric Co-op between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on September 11 to learn more about electric vehicles and grab a burger off the grill. Several EVs will be on display and staff will be on-hand to answer questions. Feel free to bring your EV by as well. We will also be offering test drives in FEC’s Chevy Bolt. See you there!

Electric Vehicle Day


Meet “Peak Time Patrick”

The Peak Time Rebate Program is a demand reduction program that offers participating members a $4 per month credit on their electric bill. Electrician, Patrick King, installs a free Demand Response Unit (DRU) on your electric water heater and during peak periods of energy use, FEC turns your water heater off for a short period of time (which participants typically never even notice). The Co-op currently has over 2,500 members taking advantage of the program.

“My name is Patrick King. It is my pleasure to meet all of you during my day-to-day installations of FEC’s Peak Time DRUs.

I am a retired Army Medic who chose to return to school for retraining. I completed a certificate in Electrical Technologies at FVCC and was soon hired by Sun Electric of Whitefish. Sun Electric has served as a contractor for three years helping the Co-op offset critical peaks on the system, saving all of us money.

I reside in Kalispell with my loving wife Cindi. I enjoy hunting, fishing, motorcycles, and the list goes on.

I want to thank all of you for your hospitality during my short visits to your home, breaker panels and water heaters. I am proud to participate in the continuity of service that Flathead Electric Co-op extends to its members.”

What FEC members say about Patrick:

  • “Very polite, very professional and clearly explained what the unit would do.”
  • “Super nice guy! Cleaned up his area really well after he was done working and was in and out quickly.”
  • “Did a great job and was very quick and very professional”.

For information or to participate in the program, visit Peak Time Rebate Program or call 406-751-1834.


Your Co-op Connection of the Month
Get to know the people working for you

Teri Rayome-Kelly
Demand Response Coordinator

What do you bring to your Co-op?

I like people and I enjoy talking with them. I work with the Peak Time Rebate Program for members who have electric water heaters in their home or business location. In the course of each work day I get the opportunity to speak with a lot of members explaining the program, answering questions and scheduling appointments for installation of the equipment the program requires, so members can benefit from the credit on their bill each month. Talking with our members is one of the best parts of my job.

What’s the best thing about serving the Co-op as an employee?

The honor and joy of it. Flathead Electric is fortunate to employ many talented people who work hard to provide affordable and reliable services to its members. I like being a part of that team.

If you had a super power, what would it be and why?

I’d love to have a superpower and I can imagine all sorts of possibilities a person could achieve if you had one. World Peace, health and wealth for everyone, curing major diseases, etc. But if I really had a superpower I would want the ability to read minds. Why? Because I’d really like to know what my dogs are thinking.


Roundup Report: Grant to benefit local homeless population

A Roundup for Safety grant of $2,868 will benefit Neighbors in Need by providing emergency exit doors and a security monitor at their new facility for local homeless families. Since 1984, Neighbors In Need has been providing for the basic needs of our homeless population and they are now going to expand services by creating a Day Center, located at the Gateway Community Center.

The Center will be a place for the Valley’s homeless to have access to a full menu of resources. Board chairman Terry Moore says there is currently no safe place for the homeless to go during the day.

“This is especially problematic for people during the winter, particularly women and their children. This will be a warm, safe place for them. Visitors will be able to access showers, computers, job resources, counseling, phone-charging stations, and personal care resources.” Moore says they are very grateful to Roundup for Safety for the grant.

July Projects Funded

  • Kootenai Valley Christian School
    Playground Material Fall Protection — $3,000
  • Peterson Elementary School
    Reflective Vests/Backpacks/First Aid Kits — $550
  • NW MT Historical Society
    Fire Protection Sprinkler Heads — $620
  • NW MT Chapter – Forest Fire Lookout
    (2) Garmin Devices & First Aid Kits– $972
  • Badrock Fire and QRU
    (8) Defibrillators — $3,020
  • Whitefish Christian Academy
    Security Fencing/Door Security Devices – $889
  • Stumptown Art Studio
    HEPA Vaccum/Air Filtration — $1,349
  • Child Bridge
    Fire Extinguishers & CO Monitors — $5,000

To apply for a Roundup for Safety grant, visit Roundup for Safety. Thank you to the thousands of Flathead Electric members who round up their bill for safety! Together, we are making a difference in our community.